<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\07510224091\46blogName\75Mel\47s+Procrastination+Palace\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\46navbarType\75BLUE\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://melaniblazer.blogspot.com/search\46blogLocale\75en_US\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://melaniblazer.blogspot.com/\46vt\759183622196452718263', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Mel's Procrastination Palace
Sunday, September 24, 2006 NEW SITE

I did it. I finally took the plunge and set up wordpress at:
www.melaniblazer.net/blog

If you have me on your blogroll, please update it. I will eventually eliminate this blogspace site and will be doing all my "new" posting at the above site.

:) I'm so excited. It's not perfect, but I don't claim to be a web designer. Come by and check it out....

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:13 AM :: 1 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

Sunday, September 17, 2006 The SUCK FACTOR


I did my homework this weekend and read a book. (I've let my reading habit slide since I started writing and really need to get back into it.)
So, I was talking about the book to my friend, Jaci Burton.

Some writer friends and I have discussed that sometimes it's hard to get into a book we're reading for pleasure's sake, because we spend so much time reading and editing our own or CP's work. It's hard to turn off the internal editor.

Such was the fact with the book I'd picked up. There were several things that immediately stuck out at me, editorial-wise, that jarred me from the story. Things that probably wouldn't have affected the everyday reader, things that aren't necessarily wrong, but simply things I've been taught by CP's and/or contest judges and/or editors shouldn't be done.

Determined to get through my thirst for red ink, I pushed on, changing my focus from the little things to the bigger picture. Then I thought about what made it sell, what was it about the first three chapters that made the editor buy it?
It took me until page 55 to get to a point where I was NOT going to put the book down. After that point, I could give a flying f--- about typos or POV faux pas or self-description. The plot had sucked me in. (I'm guessing I got the answer to my question there, eh?)

The SUCK FACTOR..... if it doesn't suck you in--it sucks.
Short, sweet, simple.
Grammar can be perfect, spelling immaculate, editing pristine. Plot can be sound, characters perfect, but if it's not all put together in a way that makes you HAVE to know what happens next, and then next, and then next.... it'll make a book suck, not suck you in.

So, while reading a book that gained suction as I proceeded, I realized that all the little stuff I'd stressed over really doesn't matter. What it boils down to is STORY.

---
On a funny note, I told Jaci I should review books anonymously and assign them plungers or vacuum cleaners instead of stars, based on their "suck factor"....5 plungers= this plot is backed up worse than an outhouse in the middle of July, or 5 vaccuums= I was as helpless as a dustbunny facing a shopvac.
*snicker*

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:56 PM :: 7 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 All wet....

I'm wondering if it's ever gonna stop raining. Has this become a rain forest-city-place? While rain is good, it's also weird for September. (Where was it in March/April???)
And after Shan's horror of wet basements (earwigs-EEEK!) I reallllllly want to see the sunshine again.

And remember I said I finished that quickie? I sent it off to a pal o'mine to read it and I get this email that says....where's the end? She'd printed it off to read/crit/comment and turned the page and went, "Huh?" and then went to her computer thinking WORD had shorted her. Turns out *I* did.

So it was back to the story to flesh out the vague Happily Ever After (as much as one could promise--cuz people who've only known each other two days don't pledge undying lurve or anything....). I resent that last chapter and am waiting to learn if I've convinced her of HEA yet. *snicker*

While waiting (why is it I always stress more when a friend is reading my story than a stranger?), I reread a proposal I'd finished and then set aside to cure. I went back to it fresh, tweaked it and mailed that puppy out. I'm so proud of me. I only used that yahoo IM barfy emoticon once. Okay, maybe twice. *wink* But only when confiding with my pals I'd done it.

Now, I'm gonna take the advice of some very wide writers/editors and READ. There's several new books out I'm eager to get my hands on and I've got an Amazon gift cert to help me. :)

And in case anyone is interested and needs reading material--my "chick lit" romance, BRAND NAME DATES through Cerridwen Press is now available through Amazon.com. If you're looking for something to set the mood for Halloween, check out THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT V, also available through Amazon.com!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 12:54 PM :: 0 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

Friday, September 08, 2006 I did it!

*pretend there's a picture of a hot, hot guy here, flexing*

I finished the quickie.
I have a hard time writing a complete (satisfying) story in the miniscule size of 12,000 words, but managed to do this in eight days (that alone is amazing to me) without major bloodshed or tearing of hair.

Recently the subject came up about the possibility of these shorter books. In paperback, they're just not cost effective, but alot of epublishers have embraced them, and often will release them seperately and then compile them for print--a win-win situation.

Anyone out there wanna comment on how they feel about a 12K story? Is that long enough to make you believe in "happily ever after"?

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:04 PM :: 1 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

I did it!

*pretend there's a picture of a hot, hot guy here, flexing*

I finished the quickie.
I have a hard time writing a complete (satisfying) story in the miniscule size of 12,000 words, but managed to do this in eight days (that alone is amazing to me) without major bloodshed or tearing of hair.

Recently the subject came up about the possibility of these shorter books. In paperback, they're just not cost effective, but alot of epublishers have embraced them, and often will release them seperately and then compile them for print--a win-win situation.

Anyone out there wanna comment on how they feel about a 12K story? Is that long enough to make you believe in "happily ever after"?

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:04 PM :: 1 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 Missed by a hair....

Final weekend count came in at a pinch under 9600 words. Definitely quickie length, but not the completion of the story. Shan and Jaci seem a bit skeptical I can finish this in the allotted space, but I'm convinced it'll all work out. My new postponed self imposed deadline is Friday.

Cheer me on.

:)

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:35 PM :: 2 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

Friday, September 01, 2006 Back in the saddle....

The storm mess has been cleaned up in most places and it's not the subject du jour any more. After all, it's Labor Day weekend. (((Happy weekend to everyone)))
I have no major family plans, no cookouts on the calendar, no schedule of parties or anything. Just a weekend home with the family, likely doing some house stuff, some car stuff--and writing.

My goal is to write a quickie this weekend. Twelve thousand words.
I started it Wednesday night and have 3K.
I'll check in with updates.

Enjoy the weekend!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:06 PM :: 0 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

Saturday, August 26, 2006

This photo was of the back "yard" of a Veterans of Foreign Wars lodge. At least 5 trees in the back and 2 in the front were uprooted. They took out the utility poles and power lines, but missed the structure. (Last picture is also of this area)







This tree was uprooted (hard to see due to the van) but caught by another tree. Sadly, 48 hrs after the storm, the tree that caught it broke and the tree crashed into the back of the white house on the left of the picture. (This was about 2 blocks from our house)Posted by Picasa

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:18 PM :: 0 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------

The aftermath......

The following pictures were taken less than 100 yards from the lakefront. It's a park area with picnic areas, etc. One of the hardest hit areas.


 Posted by Picasa

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:11 PM :: 0 comments

Post / Read Comments

---------------oOo---------------